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Google overtakes Apple for world's highest market value

Alphabet, the company that owns Google, has surpassed rival Apple in after-hours trading to become the highest valued company in the world. A strong quarterly report sent Alphabet shares soaring.

Google's parent company Alphabet flew past Apple to become the world's most valuable company on Monday. The firm's quarterly profit increased five percent to reach $4.92 billion (4.51 billion Euros), the result of solid online advertising revenue as customers used their services to search for holiday gifts.

Alphabet shares jumped by more than five percent on the better-than-expected earnings figures.

"This holiday season, we found that shopping moments replaced shopping marathons," said Google CEO Sundar Pinchai, implying that allowing customers to consider and browse was part of the company's recipe for success.

The global reach of the incredibly popular search engine at the heart of the company's business has continued to climb as more people use smartphones and tablets for a rising amount of daily tasks.

Google and Apple have worked to develop mobile computing, and their competition has seen Apple's iOS smartphone operating system battle Google's own Android for dominance since the latter emerged on the market in 2008 and became the system of choice for Samsung. The South Korean tech giant is in turn Apple's major rival in smartphone production, and the two are locked in litigation over patent infringement.

At the end of trading on Monday, the combined worth of Alphabet's shares was $554 billion, cleanly leaping over Apple's $534 billion. In order for Alphabet to officially be called the most valuable firm on earth, however, shares must open at the same price on Tuesday.

Apple itself sailed past Microsoft in 2010 after Microsoft's long period of dominance gave way to the world's obsession with the iPhone. The recent news that Apple was expecting the first ever drop in sales for its smartphone have led to speculation that the firm's momentous growth could

finally be coming to an end

.

es/jr (Reuters, dpa)

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